May 16, 2024

Neutelings Riedijk Architects in collaboration with ars architectes urbanistes wins design competition for Cité des Imaginaires and Grand Musée Jules Verne in Nantes

Nantes Métropole Aménagement officially announced Neutelings Riedijk Architects and ars architectes urbanistes as the winner of the competitive dialogue for the integral and circular design of the Cité des Imaginaires and Grand Musée Jules Verne. The team was qualified earlier last year out of 160 entries.

View from Jardin Extraordiaire towards Cité des Imaginaires. The architectural innovative proposition in respect of the surrounding nature. (Image © Neutelings Riedijk Architects / ARS Architectes)

Spectacular transformation for historic mill

The groundbreaking concept of the Cité des Imaginaires brings new life to the historic “Moulins de Nantes” mill, also known as CAP44. The iconic mill, industrial heritage with its unique Hennebique concrete structure, will be transformed into a sustainable masterpiece, amid an enchanting Jardin Extraordinaire. This museum will pay homage to the famous Nantes-born Jules Verne.

Envisioning a sustainable future

The concept tells the heritage story of the Hennebique process and the Moulins de Nantes, striking a perfect balance between old and new, nature and city, open and closed. The design embodies a new era of sustainability and flexibility, with spaces that can be adapted for exhibitions, events and community activities.

The “Cité des Imaginaires” also contributes to the urban transformation of Nantes, with the surrounding Jardin Extraordinaire connecting the Loire and the quarry into an enchanting public promenade. This project marks a crucial step in Nantes Métropole Aménagement’s ambition to become a paragon of sustainable urban development.


Nantes Métropole Aménagement unanimously chose the design by the team of Neutelings Riedijk Architects, ars architectes urbanistes, Artelia, Franck Boutté consultants, Scénevoltution and Acoustibel and is looking forward to its opening in 2028.

Le Jardin Couvert / Covered Garden. (Image © Neutelings Riedijk Architects / ARS Architectes)